The One21 Essential 100 Pt.2

essential100 copy

The One21 Essential 100 is a collection of albums that represent the best in creativity, innovation, and originality in music. This is not a “best of” list, nor is it influenced by album sales, or even popularity. Our attempt with this series is to highlight the gems, those rare albums that push boundaries and encourage new ways of thinking; both musical and philosophically. In our opinion, the music highlighted in this series is the “good stuff”.

Simply what this is going to be is a list of 100 albums from Christian music artists that we think you should own. Like our website, most genres will be represented, and some of the albums will be from as far back as the 60s, to as current as 2009. Each week we will post five albums, in no real order, with descriptions, album artwork, and places to buy the music.

Check out Pt.1

Sackcloth Fashion-Something For Everyone
Something For Everyone To Hate
Sackcloth Fashions

Buy this album:Amazon, iTunes
In 1999, a group of siblings unleashed their brand of gospel laden underground hip-hop onto the unsuspecting public. The group called themselves Sackcloth Fashions, and the album was Something For Everyone To Hate. Featuring a focused sense of authenticity in every aspect of the music, Sackcloth Fashions’ debut displayed their ability to be the full package. Music mainly created with live instruments, triplet beat patterns, unimaginable lyrical tongue twisters, and folk sensibilities mixed in with the hip-hop made Something For Everyone To Hate an instant classic. To top it all off, Sackcloth Fashions presented the gospel with unflinching brutality, at times allowing themselves to come off as laid back and joyful, but then in the next song tackling issues such as alcoholism and abortion (they actually made a song from the perspective of twins who were being aborted). This album was only the beginning, as Sackcloth Fashions eventually put down the mic(s) to found Syntax Records. Ask just about an artist on that label, and many of them will tell you that Something For Everything To Hate is why they are there….
Highlights: Pulling A Fast One, Rising Sons, It’s Just Me

Further Seems Forever The Moon Is Down
The Moon Is Down
Further Seems Forever

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
The Moon Is Down is the debut album by the Pompano Beach, Florida rock band Further Seems Forever. It was the band’s first full-length album and their only album with original vocalist Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional) and guitarist Nick Dominguez. Further Seems Forever (featuring mainly ex members of the legendary hardcore band Strongarm) is the rightful heir to the emo/posthardcore legacy of Sunny Day Real Estate. A complex wall of sound carries songs such as the title track and “A New Desert Life” to soaring heights. “Snowboard and Townies” and “Wearing Thin” are two of the best emo songs ever written. The first brings us into the pain endured by vacation townies as summer romances come and go. “Wearing Thin” gives us some insight into the frustration we must cause Christ with our rebellious ways. Regarded by many as a classic, The Moon Is Down still resonates as a truly innovative rock album.
Highlights: Wearing Thin, Snowbirds And Townies, The Moon Is Down

Wovenhand - Mosaic

Buy this album: Amazon MP3, iTunes
After years of fronting the folk rock mainstay 16 Horsepower, Eugene Edwards began to explore some of his darker elements with his new project Wovenhand. Flying under the genre “goth folk” , Wovenhand picked up were 16 Horsepower left off, but in 2006, the band proved that they were much more than a sequel. Mosaic introduced the world to the deep spiritual undertones that Wovenhand were capable of conveying, full of dark Biblical metaphor and prediction. Every song trudges along with heavy atmosphere, apocalyptic messages, and awe-inspiring power. Mosaic is a slow moving freight train with “Beware, The End Is Near” painted on the side of it; it gives you time to take in its message but it will not be stopped. This is the album Johnny Cash would have made if he had hung out with Trent Reznor for a little too long, and Wovenhand has somehow channeled that kind of energy into their classic album. Powerful might be the best way to describe it. Might be…
Highlights: Winter Shaker , Whistling Girl , Dirty Blue

100 portraits five wise virgins
Five Wise Virgins
100 Portraits

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Five Wise Virgins is second release from the alternative rock duo of Ben Pasley and Robin Pasley, who went on to lead the worship music icon Enter The Worship Circle. Five Wise Virgins takes the listener on a lyrical journey between the Beloved and the Lover who would pursue His Beloved even until death. This album features the exact instrumentation as their live performance with Ben on the hybrid guitar and Robin on a world percussion kit(except for the added upright base on Now). Five Wise Virgins is an indie world masterpiece that mingles the grit of distortion and fur covered world beats. Listen to Ben and Robin Pasley paving the path to the indie folk of Grizzly Bear, The Swell Season and Iron & Wine.
Highlights: Oz, Around My Neck, Austin Song

As Cities Burn  Son I Love You At Your Darkest
Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest
As Cities Burn

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
As Cities Burn’s Solid State Records debut left many wondering why we hadn’t heard of this band before, and it insured that we would not forget them. From all appearances, As Cities Burn looked like just another rock in the pile of endless metalcore/screamo bands that were populating the scene at the time. However, Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest was a brutally introspective, highly creative collection of songs created by a band on a mission. Little did they know, that mission was bring an air a creativity and diversity to the extreme music scene, a trend that is still playing out today. As Cities Burn served as the catalyst for that. Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest is what a band can do when they decide to ignore trends, and write music that convicts them not only as musicians, but as people seeking God’s face.
Highlights: Bloodsucker Pt. II, Thus From My Lips, By Yours, My Sin Is Purged, Admission:Regret


  1. Todd says:

    “Dirty Blue” from Woven Hand is one of the coolest songs I’ve ever heard.

  2. ian says:

    agreed, you should see them play it live


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